Please be aware of scam artists that use email to take advantage of free services such as our online classifieds. If something sounds suspicious or too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some helpful hints to avoid being caught in a scam:
- Deal with local people you can meet in person and/or by a local phone number. This will help avoid scam artists that exploit the Internet.
- Never give out financial information (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.).
- Never wire funds (via Western Union, MoneyGram or other wire service).
- Watch out for fraudulent cashier's checks and/or money orders.
- Beware when payment is required up front or when you are asked to return money to the buyer. Example: If your item price is $100 and a buyer says they will send you a check for $500 and ask you to mail them the difference - this is a scam. Do not comply and avoid this buyer.
- Be cautious of emails with spelling errors, grammar problems, or inconsistent information. It may originate from outside the country.
- Scammers will often "guarantee" a transaction - this is common in fraudulent deals.
- Be cautious of buyers who are working for a "Client" - again deal only with people you can meet with in person or trust.
- The Albany Herald is not involved in any transaction. We are not involved with shipping, payment or any other part of your transaction with a buyer or seller.
- Use good old-fashioned common sense. Think carefully about the information you give to a buyer or seller.
Be a savvy Internet user and investigate your options!
Visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center for important information on Internet Crime Prevention Tips and Internet Crime Schemes. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).
Internet crime schemes that steal millions of dollars each year from victims continue to plague the Internet through various methods. Following are terms that will assist you in being informed prior to entering into transactions over the Internet:
- Auction Fraud
- Counterfeit Cashier's Check
- Credit Card Fraud
- Debt Elimination
- Employment/Business Opportunities
- Escrow Services Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Internet Extortion
- Investment Fraud
- Nigerian Letter or "419"
- Third Party Receiver of Funds
For more information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Internet schemes, visit http://www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/internetschemes.htm.
Main Office Address:
Office of the Georgia Attorney General
40 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656-3300
Fax: (404) 657-8733
The Anti-Phishing Working Group (http://www.antiphishing.org/) is the global pan-industrial and law enforcement association focused on eliminating the fraud and identity theft that result from phishing, pharming and email spoofing of all types.